May seeks to build bridges with MPs doing ‘difficult jobs’ over Brexit

Theresa May has struck a conciliatory tone with MPs as she sought to repair the damage done by her Downing Street statement on Brexit.

The Prime Minister used a Commons appearance to acknowledge they were doing “difficult jobs” as they wrestled with Brexit.

It was a markedly different approach to last week’s Downing Street statement, in which she blamed MPs for failing to implement the result of the 2016 EU referendum and told frustrated voters: “I am on your side.”

Pro-EU Tory Sam Gyimah, who quit as a minister over her deal, described her remarks at Number 10 as “toxic” and a “low blow”.

The Prime Minister needs to win over MPs if she is to have any chance of overturning the 149-vote defeat suffered by her Brexit deal.

Speaking in the Commons, she stopped short of apologising for her remarks, but admitted they were made in “frustration”.

She said: “This is the first chance I have had to address the House since my remarks last Wednesday evening.

“I expressed my frustration with our collective failure to take a decision, but I know that many members across this House are frustrated too.

“We all have difficult jobs to do.

“People on all sides of the debate hold passionate views and I respect those differences.

“I would also like to thank all of those colleagues that have supported the deal so far, and those that have taken the time to meet with me to discuss their concerns.”